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  • Writer's pictureH.D. Lee

Three Relationships Worth Cultivating, Part 1 of 3

Updated: Jun 19




What are your three most important relationships? Is it the relationship with your intimate partner? Your children? Your work? Your health? Many self-help or personal development articles talk about the relationship with yourself or your emotions as being important. These relationships are certainly important in their own right, but I believe you and I will be taking care of these relationships by extension if we take care of our relationship with silence and solitude, with our truths, and with our spirituality.



: : : Your relationship with silence and solitude : : :


Your relationship with silence and solitude is the fertile ground from which inner peace, wisdom, unconditional joy, and unconditional love spring. It is for this reason that this relationship is primordial. In silence and in solitude, we are not subject to the distractions of the outside world. Instead, we are able to give our full attention to the curious as well as distressing things within ourselves. In order to successfully create the conditions for inner peace, wisdom, etc., dis-identification is a “tool” I use. This involves a preparatory set-up where I briefly review in a rational manner the understanding that I am not my thoughts, emotions, and even my body. All three of these “things” can and do change. In fact, they are constantly changing. Our thoughts skip from one topic to the next at any given moment, emotions fluidly shift from one shape to another as time passes, and our body is constantly renewing itself. The blood, skin, and organs you have today are not the same in just a few days, or a few weeks, or a few months. By dis-identifying from all that I might habitually consider to be “me”, I become free as a center of pure self-awareness. I become the “I’ who lives in the eternal now, untethered to my personal past or potential future. Inner freedom is availed to me as I experience my self as not myself.


By dis-identifying from myself, I am able to access the inner space to direct my conscious awareness with clear intentions. I may choose to simply sit with the silence as it is, giving my full attention to the nothingness within and without. I do this with the most intense focus I am able to call upon, even if this focus may be periodically perturbed by unwanted thoughts, feelings, and images. For those of us who’ve given consistent effort to the meditation of the kind I am describing here, we know the healing power of silence and nothingness from experience. Its sweetness is not easily describable but it is real. This healing power emanates from our own witnessing presence to all that is, and healing is experienced as a result.


In silence and solitude, I may also choose to focus on a specific quality or experience by giving my attention to a word or phrase that I repeat in my mind or out loud. This word or phrase, then become a vehicle that takes me to the experience and vantage point of peace, or love, or wisdom. By doing the aforementioned for twenty minutes or more, I become peace, or love, or wisdom. Of course, unsupportive attitudes such as skepticism, self-criticism, or a sense of futility shall be placed by the front door before one enters the house of peace. The key in this practice, called “Evocative Words”, of giving one’s undivided attention a specific word or phrase is to do it over a period of a week or longer with sustained focus and intention in order to assimilate the quality of these words into one’s consciousness. “Evoking Feeling Towards the Will” is another exercise you can do in silence and solitude, and this one is my favourite. This exercise entails the intense studying of people and texts that renew and transform your will so that your perception of reality within and without become ever more clear; therefore so does your relationship with who you are and your relationship to all creation.


Lastly, a highly satisfying practice that I find effective is the practice of being in communion with a living, loving, and willing Self. Assagioli, the father of Psychosynthesis, calls this Self the spiritual or transpersonal Self, and he describes It to be the essential and most real part of us in his seminal writing, The Act of Will. The experience of, and contact with, this Self is availed as we disentangle our self from the ball of yarn that is our recent experience, distant memories, future hopes, daydreams, subterranean fantasies, irrational fears, primal wounds, et cetera. In other words, most of us are not, and cannot be, in communion with this Self so long as we are completely dedicated to our inner and daily drama. This Self is the source of imperturbable peace, unconditional joy, and love freely given and received.  It is both immanent and transcendent as a reality whether or not we are aware of it. Thus arises the experience that so many of us strive for when in fact it is directly accessible via identification with Self.


The way I enter into communion with Self is as follows. I first take a moment to enter into the silence through deep and slow breathing with full awareness. I do this for a little while without tracking time. This period of conscious breathing is usually followed by a timed meditation of ten to twenty minutes where I maintain present moment awareness with minimum deviation or distraction, or it may be a meditation of the kind where I repeat a particular phrase or idea in my mind with intention, energy, and awareness. For the latter I usually refer to my favorite sacred texts, such as A Course in Miracles. There are other books I reference, and I recommend you choose what resonates with you. At the end of my meditation, I then speak to Self and express my gratitude, appreciation, and love, and I also ask for guidance and support in such a way that would keep me aligned to Divine Will.


The process of dis-identification and identification with Self, which I provide below, will support the process just described. I wholeheartedly recommend this process be practiced if you have not arrived at the understanding that you really are not just your personality.


The instructions for dis-identification and identification with Self are (1) recite the phrases given below in a tranquil and grounded manner. (2) The key for the recitation is in how you say the phrases, the intention you bring to the act, and the consistency with which you apply yourself to this process.


Phrases for Dis-identification & Identification with Self


I have a body, but I am not my body

I have emotions, but I am not my emotions

I have thoughts, but I am not my thoughts

I am a center of pure self-awareness

I am a living, loving, and willing Self


For a step-by-step and complete description of the above process, I recommend you read The Act of Will, which is written by Roberto Assagioli. This process is found in Appendix I on page 211.


[This is the end of the article for May 2024. Part 2 of 3 of “Three Relationships Worth Cultivating” will be posted next month]


Image credits: Spencer Wynn on Unsplash; Dyers Bay Canada

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